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Putting the media spotlight on poverty in Europe

European Commission - IP/10/416   12/04/2010

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IP/10/416

Brussels, 12 April 2010

Putting the media spotlight on poverty in Europe

Under the banner of the 2010 European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion, the European Commission has today launched a competition for journalists reporting on issues related to the Year's themes. The European Year Journalist Award is open to print, online and audiovisual journalists and prizes will be awarded at national level (€800 or the equivalent thereof) and at European level (€4500, €3000, and €2000) for the most original and newsworthy reports. The winners of the Europe-wide competition will be announced at a ceremony to be held in Brussels on 17 December 2010.

László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion said: “To tackle poverty, we need to give a voice to those who are excluded and we need to understand the causes of poverty. At the same time, we must propose practical solutions that work. Journalists have a key role in this debate which is why we have created this competition for the most newsworthy and original reports on poverty issues.”

The competition is now open and journalists can submit entries online via the 2010 European Year website until 31 August, 2010. Articles and audiovisual reports published or aired by a media outlet within the 27 Member States, Iceland, or Norway between 1 October 2009 and 31 August 2010 are eligible. All entries will first be judged at by a jury of experts at national level, where one winner for each category will be announced. National winners will then be put forward for the European competition, which will culminate in a ceremony hosted by the Belgian Presidency in Brussels at the end of 2010.

The journalist competition is one of the key EU-level activities during the European Year and aims to help raise public awareness of the issues surrounding poverty and social exclusion. Other key events in the year include a Europe-wide art contest, major conferences on specific issues such as child poverty and homelessness, and a series of events planned around the International Day against poverty in October.

For more details of the journalist competition, please consult the website of the European Year 2010 : http://www.2010againstpoverty.eu and go to the Journalist Award section .

Background

The 2010 European Year aims to raise greater awareness of the causes and consequences of poverty in Europe, both among key players such as governments and social partners and among the public at large. It also aims to mobilise these different partners in the fight against poverty; promote social integration and inclusion; and encourage clear commitments on drawing up EU and national policies to tackle poverty and social exclusion.

84 million Europeans – or 17% of people across the EU – currently live below the poverty threshold. According to a recent Eurobarometer survey on attitudes to poverty, a large majority of Europeans (73%) consider poverty to be a widespread problem in their country, with 89% calling for urgent action by their government to tackle the problem. While most people consider their national government as primarily responsible, 74% also expect the EU to play an important role.

For more information on the Eurobarometer survey: IP/09/1585


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